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travel journal

Starting a Travel Journal

The Christmas before our world trip, I gave everyone — my husband, two sons, and even myself — a small journal. Each was a different color and had a different saying that I imagined suited each of us. Mine was “LIVE A LIFE YOU LOVE.” Eight months later when we packed our backpacks and headed out into the world, I am the only one that brought along said journal. Maybe it’s because the rest of the travelers are male or...

shuri castle

Stranded in a Japanese Parking Lot

One of our first adventures on the island of Okinawa was to Shuri Castle. Although it is unknown exactly when the castle was constructed, the castle was in use from 1322-1429 when it housed King Sho Hashi. The castle was burned down several times, captured by foreign Satsuma armies in 1609, and was subject to three days of shelling from the USS Mississippi during WWII before finally being captured by U.S. forces. After the war, the castle housed a university...

International Driver’s Permit — Do I Really Need One?

In preparing for our RTW trip, I decided to get an international driver’s permit. In all my research, an IDP was mentioned over and over as being important to have, although no one went into any great detail. Getting an IDP made me think I was like a secret agent and I would get a booklet of my driver’s license information translated into 15 different languages. I romanticized the whole thing really....

Explore Guam’s Turbulent History

“My first wish is to see this plague of mankind, war, banished from the earth.”  —George Washington WWII history buffs could spend days investigating sites on Guam centered around this devastating war. Although some of the sites are located within the borders of military bases and can only be visited with proper military identification or accompanied by a sponsor, there are many others that dot the island and can be accessed by anyone. From underwater shipwrecks and weapons shelters to memorials...